Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Operational Research and Christianity

I recently read that the educational background of the Bishop Sarah Frances Davis in the African Methodist Episcopal church has a degree in Management Science. Can O.R./M.S. help in such a role? In IAOR, there are several papers recorded which refer to applications of O.R. in the life of the church. In the 1970's and 80's, Malcolm King, Alan Mercer and I published some papers about the place of modelling in the deployment of clergy in the U.K.

[Malcolm King, David K. Smith and Alan Mercer "Towards Diocesan Planning" Journal of the Operational Research Society 29 p856-866 (1978); Malcolm King and David K. Smith "Are the Clergy Being Deployed Fairly?" The Churchman 5 p54-60 (1980); Malcolm King and David K. Smith "Planning the Deployment of Clergy" Long Range Planning 5 p104-111 (1982)]

Earlier, Alan had published "The Churching of Urban England" in the proceedings of the 1969 IFORS conference, which looked at the location of places of worship.

So there are two possible areas for fruitful O.R.; manpower planning, and location models.

I wonder if Bishop Davis knows about this work.

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